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BackYou are here: AnalysisOpinion Operation Green Hunt Enters New Phase


Operation Green Hunt Enters New Phase

March 29, 2012

by Sudha Bharadwaj, General Secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL

It is quite evident that after the phase of "Salwa Judum" and the phase of "Operation Green Hunt", anti-Naxal operations have entered a new phase variously called "Operation Haka" and "Operation Vijay".

While certain media reports present very different pictures of this Operation [see appendixes], both the spokespersons of the Security Forces and Maoists claim that this Operation took place in the Abujhmaad/Maad area fairly deep in the forests; a large number of joint paramilitary forces about 3000 in number participated.

While the police reports speak of Naxalite camps destroyed, Maoists encountered and arrested, the Maoist spokesperson claims that houses were burnt down, adivaasi villagers were beaten, including beaten to death, and those arrested have not been produced before courts.

During the phase of "Salwa Judum" about 500 deaths were documented on affidavit in a part of South Bastar alone, and these affidavits have been filed in the Supreme Court by Kartam Joga and others. Kartam Joga is a senior CPI leader who is now in jail on false allegations of participating in the Tadmetla attack on the CRPF. This case, linked with the Nandini Sundar case, is awaiting final adjudication in the Supreme Court.

Another list of 192 extra judicial killings, alleged to have occurred in Dantewada during Operation Green Hunt, between 2009 and 2011, has been submitted by the National PUCL with a request for investigation/enquiry before the NHRC, but no action seems to have been taken so far.

In the above circumstances, certain issues arise before us in the human rights community.

Free and independent reporting in the media of the ongoing Operations would be the only source of information regarding what is happening in these interior areas. How do we, together with journalists associations, ensure journalists are protected ?

Since an extremely hostile atmosphere has been created vis-à-vis Civil Liberties groups in Chhattisgarh, particularly in Bastar, Dantewada, how do we collectively set up some effective and sufficiently high powered human rights monitoring ?

How do we ensure that earlier enquiries pending before the NHRC are completed effectively and expeditiously ?

The recent affidavit of the CBI in the Supreme Court that, when they went to investigate the Morpalli-Tadmetla-Timmapur arson incident, as directed by the Supreme Court, they were fired upon by the Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Force (SPOs) is particularly an issue of great concern, and the manner in which it is dealt with by the Supreme Court would be very important.

Since, in the circumstances, the possibility of killings of non-combatant villagers is enormous, how do we campaign to ensure strict adherence to the NHRC guidelines that whenever a complaint is made alleging that an encounter is a false one, it must be effectively and fairly investigated into ?

The role of the judiciary when arrested persons are not produced before the courts is crucial. If habeas corpus petitions are not effective in the High Court, should we consider moving the Supreme Court directly ?

The Government is in a denial mode in which officially there is no armed conflict in this area. It is thus protecting itself from the operation of international conventions relating to the protection of human rights. How can this be effectively
countered ?

Please do send your comments and suggestions.

Sudha Bharadwaj, General Secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL.